Audi A3 petrol India review, test drive

    An entry-level Audi, the A3 sedan is so well accomplished, it will make the luxury hatchbacks sweat.

    Published on Jul 08, 2014 04:00:00 PM


    What’s it like to drive?

    If you are going to drive the Audi A3 sedan yourself, you are in for a bit of a treat, as Audi, cleverly, has specified two punchy and powerful engines for the car in India. The diesel, a powerful 2.0 TDI, puts out an impressive 141bhp, and even better is the fact that it has plenty of pulling power as well. Very similar to the engine under the hood of the Skoda Octavia, we expect it will be responsive and work really well with the six-speed, twin-clutch gearbox.

    Even nicer is this very powerful 177bhp 1.8 TFSI petrol engine we are driving. It feels refined at idle and is smooth to drive even at slow speeds. It is a turbocharged engine and so you do get a bit of a hesitation as you take off from rest, but this is only for a brief moment. As soon as you cross 2,000rpm, the engine immediately becomes more willing to spin faster. Momentum is effortlessly built; spin the motor past 3,500rpm and you find that you often need to hold back, so energetic is the power delivery. Spin the engine harder and you are confronted by genuinely sporty performance, as the needle winds itself around the tachometer all the way to 6,500rpm, a tremendous burst of acceleration unleashed as you go. The seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox is so quick, you can run through the gears almost seamlessly, the Audi A3 shooting forward like a genuine performance car. Keep pressing on and the car will continue pulling hard all the way to 180kph. It really is no surprise that 0-100kph comes up in 8.2 seconds; a sporty snarl emitted from under the hood.

    The Audi A3 even steers and drives like a pro. The suspension has been almost perfectly set up for Indian conditions. On one hand, it is stiff enough to allow the car to handle with confidence, and on the other, it is absorbent too. Ride quality, in fact, is so good, we soon become blasé and power over all manner of broken tarmac. There is a hint of stiffness and you do get jostled around a bit at times, but the Audi A3 sedan generally seems so unperturbed and rides so flat, you tend not to slow down unless the holes in the road are really big. Only the slightly low-slung front of the car worried us a bit.

    Also stellar is stability at high speeds. The car feels rock-solid even when the needle is wound over to the ‘wrong’ side of the speedometer, and it’s sure-footed enough that you can change direction with a mere flick of the wrist, confident in the knowledge the car won’t lose its composure. The Audi A3 even allows you to attack corners fearlessly, the nicely weighted steering helping a lot here. The little Audi feels perfectly poised in the corners, and the suspension, brakes, engine and gearbox work so well together, the A3 drives as well or better than almost any Audi we’ve driven in recent times. If only there was some real feel from the steering here. If you enjoy driving, this car is for you.

    Audi Cars

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